Dying Priest Sentenced to 3 Years for Theft

By Dan Mangan
New York Post
December 5, 2007

NEW HAVEN - A terminally ill gay priest who swindled his church out of $1.3 million was sentenced to 37 months in jail yesterday after a federal judge in Connecticut rejected pleas for mercy.

But the Rev. Michael Jude Fay won't have to begin serving his time until April, and that's enough of a delay to let him enter an experimental treatment program for his spreading prostate cancer, Judge Janet Bond Arterton said.

Fay pleaded guilty in September to siphoning the cash from St. John Church in Darien into secret bank accounts.

He used the embezzled money to finance a lavish lifestyle of limo rides, designer clothing and a Florida condo he shared with his male companion.

Fay, who had been pastor of St. John for 15 years, pleaded for mercy in court yesterday, calling himself "ashamed, repentant and broken."

He sought a sentence of home confinement after paying back $280,000. His lawyer also cited Fay's good work for his church, as well as his cancer, which he said had spread to other parts of his body.

But prosecutor Richard Shechter said as pastor of the parish, Fay "was serving only himself . . . When a priest who was supposed to serve others serves himself, the only message should be that you should serve time."



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